By Bibi Khatoon
Under the theme “Moulding today’s youth, securing our future,” the National Cadet Corps was today officially launched at the Hope Secondary School. It is being piloted in six Secondary schools for the first year.
A total of 487 students between the ages of 12 to 16 have so far been registered.
The programme runs from January to the first week in December in two blocs of six months and participation is voluntary.
According to Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Patrick West, after its first year, the programme, which is being implemented by the Guyana People’s Militia in each region, will be expanded to other schools.
Training officer of the Guyana Peoples Militia, Major Eon Murray outlined that a National Oversight Committee, a Regional Review Board and a Discipline Committee will be established to adequately manage the programme.
The Discipline Committee will be responsible for ensuring that both students and instructors adhere to the established code of conducts.
“This programme is viewed as a meaningful endeavour which is aimed at offering youths opportunities to learn and expand their sources of interaction other than that of the social media. It is structured to expose participants to academic and adventure training and is geared at producing a well-rounded individual,” Murray noted.
The National Cadet Corps is a collaborative initiative between the GDF, the Ministry of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Education.
In brief remarks, Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry pointed out that the course was reviewed by her ministry and she was impressed by the areas covered. She urged students to join the programme as “it would provide you with two important qualities that are relevant for leadership in the 21st century; capacity and character.”
As part of the course, students will be given the opportunity to travel the country on various exhibitions.
Three of the other pilot schools are the Berbice High School, North Georgetown Secondary School and the Stewartville Secondary School.